U.S. asks Security Council to condemn Abbas

United States asks UN Security Council to reject PA chairman's anti-Semitic remarks.

Elad Benari, Canada,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

The United States on Friday asked the UN Security Council to reject the "unacceptable" and "deeply disturbing" remarks by Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas about Jews that included "vile anti-Semitic slurs", AFP reported

In a speech earlier this week, Abbas regurgitated a number of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in what he called a “history lesson,” seeking to disprove the 3,000-year-old Jewish connection to the Land of Israel.

One of his claims was that the Holocaust was not the result of anti-Semitism but rather of the Jews “social behavior, [charging] interest, and financial matters.”

The proposed statement by Washington would express the council's "serious concern" about Abbas's remarks, which "included vile anti-Semitic slurs and baseless conspiracy theories, and do not serve the interests of the Palestinian people or peace in the Middle East."

The draft seen by AFP urges "all parties to avoid provocations that make the resumption of negotiations more difficult."

The PA chairman’s remarks have been met with a flurry of condemnations, both in Israel and abroad.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman ripped Abbas over his remarks on Tuesday, saying the PA leader has “reached a new low in attributing the cause of massacres of Jewish people over the years to their ‘social behavior relating to interest and banks.’ To all those who think Israel is the reason that we don't have peace, think again.”

German’s Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, on Wednesday criticized Abbas, writing on Twitter that Germany was responsible for “one of the worst crimes in history and therefore, we must respond resolutely to any anti-Semitic expression.” He linked his comment to Abbas's speech.

Britain also criticized the anti-Semitic speech on Thursday, saying his remarks were “deeply concerning” and unhelpful to peace in the region.

The United Nations envoy for the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, on Wednesday accused Abbas of repeating "contemptuous anti-Semitic slurs" by suggesting that the role of Jews in the banking sector led to their persecution in Europe.

Abbas apologized for his remarks on Friday and condemned the Holocaust "as the most heinous crime in history."

"If anyone, especially anyone of the Jewish religion, was insulted by what I told the Palestinian National Council, I apologize to them. I would like to assure everyone that it was not my intention to do so, and to reiterate my full respect for the Jewish faith, as well as other monotheistic faiths," he stressed.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman immediately rejected the apology and said Abbas was a "pathetic Holocaust denier".

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)